What are Vitiligo 1 Symptoms

Vitiligo (white spot disease)

What is Vitiligo (white spot disease)?

In white spot disease (Vitiligo) there is a loss of the brown skin pigment melanin in some places. The causes of this pigment disorder are not exactly known. In addition to a hereditary predisposition, a dysregulation of the immune system may play a role. (You can read more about the origin theories in the chapter causes).

Vitiligo is not contagious. The skin changes themselves do not normally pose a health problem either. However, many patients find them cosmetically disruptive. Unfortunately, those affected still have to struggle with prejudices in their environment. Self-help groups on Vitiligo offer support, lots of helpful information and exchange (see links at the bottom of the page).

Who is affected?

It is estimated that around one percent of the population suffers from white spot disease. It occurs on all skin types and all age groups. Vitiligo most often begins between the ages of 10 and 30. In some cases, white spot disease is associated with other diseases, such as thyroid disorders or diabetes mellitus.

What symptoms does vitiligo cause?

White, less pigmented or unpigmented, irregularly shaped patches of skin are typical of Vitiligo. In principle, they can form on any part of the body. The disease often begins on the face, hands or feet. Mucous membranes and hairy skin can also be affected. (You can find out more about the symptoms in the Symptoms chapter).

Important to know: There are sometimes other causes behind light patches of skin, such as certain fungal skin infections. Therefore, skin changes should always be examined by a doctor.

How is Vitiligo treated?

Vitiligo is not curable, but it is treatable. Doctors mainly use light therapy (phototherapy). The skin is irradiated with light of a special wavelength. This can stimulate pigment formation. Ointments with cortisone and other active ingredients are also available for therapy. Good sun protection is important. Because the depigmented skin is particularly exposed to the sun's UV rays. You can read more information in the Therapy chapter.

Important NOTE:
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor. Unfortunately, our experts cannot answer individual questions.